ASUCI & The Budget Crisis

Never fear, UC Irvine, Shocktoberfest and all other student services events are here to stay. Although there has been much talk about the $500 million budget cut to the UC system, there will still be ASUCI events hosted on campus in the name of spirit, energy and fun.

“[Shocktoberfest] is a great UCI tradition, students love Shocktoberfest and that’s what all the first-years hear from upper classmen,”  Vice President of Student Services Grace Poon said. “I think it would definitely be a shame to end Shocktoberfest and for all future years, we will be keeping all of our events no matter what the budget is going to look like.”

The ASUCI events budget is comprised of undergraduate student fees and student services events are always in collaboration with other organizations, like AT&T at Shocktoberfest. For Homecoming Day, the Alumni Association contributed several books while ASUCI provided a long week of festivities and the stage for the street festival.

Booking the artists for Shocktoberfest is already quite difficult. The process of mapping out artists who would fit into the existing budget is a first step, but finding artists available to be booked is a different story. It will certainly be challenging for the vice president next year to find popular and attractive artists to bring to UCI, particularly if ASUCI’s budget is going to be cut.

“We were able to do a lot of things and it didn’t even cost too much money because it’s really all about what you want to put into it,” Poon said. “Use all of the UCI spirit you have and be able to use your brain to think of new ideas and what to do with the money.”

It has been brought up that there should be a small price tag for all of the events, but our undergraduate student fees cover the costs. Students only pay $18 of their student fees per quarter to student government, which provides all of the student service events.

“Obviously I think that pool of money will be a lot less than what we had to work with [this year],” Poon said. “I think that it will definitely be a challenge and events will be different but not any less because the new executives will be able to utilize that money to the fullest.”

There are only two more events left in the school year: Wayzgoose and Reggae Fest in the spring. Minor things like prizes and flyers will be cut but this will not diminish the quality of the events themselves.

The student services office has been pushing to get more sponsorship that could bring more money, prizes, games, activities and food to ASUCI events. They have also asked local businesses like the Irvine Spectrum, California Pizza Kitchen and Cherry on Top to give out coupons, and on-campus partners like UCI Dining to donate food and drinks and the bookstore to give away prizes.

“It’s a different ballgame now with the new budget,” Poon said. “In order to do budget allocations, you look back on the year before and see what was exactly spent for every event and you work from there. As for the next year, I am not exactly sure how much money will be allocated to ASUCI.”

Poon made it clear that no events from student services will be cut, but there may just be less of them per year. Comedy Nights at the pub have still been meeting every Monday evening. ASUCI Movie Nights last year was bi-monthly but for this year, movies were screened once every month with a cost of $1000 per screening. There are four rallies this year because it was easier to plan for just four, as opposed to the five that were held last year. During this time, there are no future plans of raising student fees for student government.